Healthcare.gov September 9, 2013September 7, 2013 How do you build the capacity to handle tens of millions of visitors at once? I can’t imagine healthcare.gov will not have problems October 1, when it’s supposed to go fully live with actual prices you would pay for various insurance options. Look at how hard it was to get Burning Man tickets when they went on sale — and there were only 70,000 people trying. But even if the first few days of October prove challenging for healthcare.gov as Obamacare finally rolls out for real, it will be worth the hassle. And you don’t have to wait until October 1 to explore the site. For example, this section explains how Obamacare improves your health care security — even if you’re already covered. The truth is, almost everyone will get a better deal from Obamacare, one way or another (not least because it will improve the overall health of our citizenry and our economy), which — there being no free lunch — is made possible in two main ways: First, income above $250,000 will be taxed a little more heavily (though at nothing like the rates that prevailed in, say, “the good old days” of the Fifties), which is why Obamacare, even with all its extra benefits (like free preventive care) is projected to shrink the federal deficit. Second, lots of provisions in the bill push the system toward more efficiency. And boy, is there room for improvement. It will be a long time (like: never) before we get our health care spending in line with the rest of the modern world — because the rest of the modern world has some variant of single-payer government health care, which we understand to be evil in some way. Pity the miserable Canadians. Pity the miserable Europeans. (This site purports to show a “happiness” index, and we rank ahead of all those countries!* And if you set all the sliders to zero, except health care, to isolate just the health care element of happiness, we still rank ahead of all of them!** ) But we don’t have to accept the tyranny of communist Canada to at least narrow the gap, because that gap is so wide. Right now, the modern nations spend 9% to 12% of GDP on health care — to our 17.9%. Yet their outcomes are generally better. And the Republicans in Congress are fighting desperately to keep it that way. It’s almost all they can think about, having now voted 40 times to repeal it. They urgently want to repeal it or defund it or just find some way to be make sure it doesn’t work. Just as they block the effort to put people to work modernizing our decaying infrastructure. And work to discourage young people from voting. Their singular focus and great success of the last few decades: lowering taxes for the wealthy, whom they see — incorrectly — as “the job creators.” Anyway, Obamacare is coming. Check out healthcare,gov to see how it might affect you. It will have problems; but — as President Clinton explained so well last week in Little Rock — the thing to do about that is just get together and fix them. What a concept. *Except five **Except nine.